Thursday, March 1, 2012

Well Done 2-1-1 Texas!

Congratulations to 2-1-1 Texas!



The first calls came in early this morning, on the new state-wide enterprise platform deployed by TIRN, the Texas Information and Referral Network.

TIRN is deploying VisionLink's Community Operating Solution so that 25 Area Information Centers can work on a common platform and yet attend to community-specific needs. What were separate and distinct software solutions for each center across Texas are now unified. This will reduce costs, improve service, and bring a new level of state-wide analytics and reporting to what is already a highly professional operation across the state.  In fact, the state is United State's largest 2-1-1 system, and Houston is the nation's largest single 2-1-1 call center.

In their own words:  2-1-1 Texas, a program of the Texas Health and Human Services Commission, is committed to helping Texas citizens connect with the services they need. Whether by phone or internet, our goal is to present accurate, well-organized and easy-to-find information from over 60,000 state and local health and human services programs.

The system is rolling out in phases, and this morning's pilot group included:

Hopkins County Community Action Network
North Texas Area United Way
United Way of Abilene
United Way of Amarillo and Canyon
United Way of Tyler/Smith County

Tonight, the 2-1-1 call centers in Dallas and Houston will launch a portion of their staff on the new CommunityOS platform, since they serve as overnight response centers for the pilot group.

2-1-1 is a quick three digit number that any of us can dial on our telephones (or can access via web sites) to gain access to a tremendously broad range of social services.  For any of us, being able to call a specialist gives us much better information, more quickly, and at any time of the day or night.  Callers are referred to appropriate organizations and services.  Those organizations in turn rely on 2-1-1 to refer the right people needing specific services to the correct organization which can in fact respond.

Particularly in this economy, 2-1-1 offers a great return on state and community funding and leverages volunteer and partner agency resources every day, while at the same time providing a friendly and helpful source of information.

VisionLink is proud to provide this advanced solution; next month we will announce the next five Area Information Centers coming online.

Dr. W. Douglas Zimmerman
President & CEO
VisionLink